Around this time, two years ago, I started taking the mental steps towards planting a digital church for nerds, geeks, and gamers. I didn’t know it would be called Checkpoint. I didn’t think it would be on Twitch, Discord, or YouTube. I didn’t know - well, pretty much anything.
The biggest question from Day Zero was this:
Is the online church a church?
Can a digital community serve the same role as the physical church building?
Contrary to many beliefs, it wasn’t an immediate ‘yes’ for me. I wasn’t sure for a good, long while of the possibilities of the online church. I knew that it was possible to build a community online. I knew that the digital halls were where I would find the people that I was hoping to reach for this church plant.
But how can you know what you don’t know?
In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t take long to discover the truth. As soon as we started streaming and poking around in the digital space, I quickly found real people with real questions and substantial interest in what we were doing. I made friends. I laughed and played games. We realized that Twitch wasn’t enough for us, so we made a Discord to have a more consistent communal experience.
It was then that magic happened.
Discord opened up new possibilities. Suddenly we were offering a space for people to exist within - no VR headset required; we had created an existing space in the Metaverse.
It didn’t take long to open up. We had people inviting people. We had stories shared. We opened a #Prayer-Requests channel. We bore our hearts to one another and made a difference.
I could tell you story after story of lives impacted by the online church.
And I plan to.
Starting soon, we’re launching Humans of Online Church.
We’re doing this as a fireworks display of proof that the people joining online churches are real, digital people. These are real, digital lives that are being affected.
And we need your help.
If you know anyone with a story to tell or a positive experience of the online church scene, then send them this link.
It’s time we settle this debate.
You are real.
You are valid.
You are the Church. Online.
May 16th, 2022